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Voice-Activated Technologies to Improve Convenience in PH Households

MUENSTER – JANUARY 27, 2018: White Amazon Echo Plus, Alexa Voice Service activated recognition system photographed on wooden table in living room, Packshot showing Amazon Logo

Marked by increased digitalization, the new normal highlights the need for connectivity amenities. This may progress into adopting high-tech solutions, including virtual assistants at home, as explained by industry leaders who graced Lamudi’s recent roundtable discussion.

“In the near future, we see people using voice assistants, like the Alexa or the Google Home, which could aid us in our day-to-day needs,” Debbie A. Obias, Head of Business Development and New Business for Globe At Home Broadband Business of Globe Telecom shared.

The virtual event, made possible by Globe Telecom, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, and the official broadcast media partner, ANC, tackled the theme The Rise of Intelligent Homes: Reshaping the Modern Filipino Home. 

Millennial Property Seekers

Voice-assisted technology has already drawn the interest of millennial property seekers, according to Obias. Digitally-savvy, the market segment adopted home automation devices, buying intelligent speakers and plugs, for instance, from online shops, for “ambiance” purposes. 

She’s positive that these high-tech solutions can become mainstream in the Filipino home. However, she emphasized that they must resonate with the market to fully take off.

According to Lamudi’s trend report titled Hotspots Unwrapped: 2020’s Most Popular Locations, millennials are the most active market segment, representing a significant portion of overseas interest for Philippine properties. Those who belong to the 25 to 34 age bracket drove 30.58 percent of pageviews last year.

Previously touted as the generation that shies away from homeownership, millennials saw a change in financial priorities amid the pandemic. In Lamudi’s roundtable discussion launched last September, experts asserted that due to the travel restrictions and lockdowns, the money initially assigned for leisure experiences was redirected to buying properties.

Many have taken the plunge into the property market as developers introduced better deals, in the form of discounts and stretched downpayment terms. Along with this, Pag-IBIG reduced its interest rates to encourage borrowing activity.

The work-from-home scheme likewise influenced millennials’ property buying. To boost productivity and avoid distractions, they leave their family homes and find a space of their own.

Impact on Property Development

On the property developers’ side, Rouen Raz, Vice President for Sales and Marketing of DataLand, said that a number of construction companies are already incorporating several technologies in projects. He shared that value-pricing for these developments is possible.

The company, for one, uses precast construction technology in projects and maintains pricing. The use of technology can cut down labor costs, according to Raz.

On the aspect of what kinds of intelligent solutions are to be installed in developments, Michelle T. Ysmael-Ora, Head of Strategic Property Business Development of Globe Telecom, explained that the types of building occupants would influence those decisions.

“When we partner with property developers, we try to find out what kind of development they’re building, who’s the target market, what kind of lifestyle [they have]. If it’s an office building, we try to understand who the tenants will be. 

“That will tell us what health applications or security solutions [are] needed to enable developments to thrive,” she said.

Evolving preferences for the kinds of communities would likewise influence property development moving forward. 

Joey Bondoc, Associate Director of Research at Colliers International Philippines, said that there has been a growing interest for homes not only within integrated communities, but also “interconnected, intelligent” communities. While this was observed even before the pandemic, the health crisis highlighted the demand further.

Bondoc said, “There’s now a greater need for house and lot projects or condo projects to have a good internet connection because we’re now doing this large work-from-home experiment. It’s important for homes to have stable, reliable internet connection.”

Tech-Enabled Economy

The panelists are confident that the move towards the digitalization of homes and communities will increase the economy’s productivity.

“Once you support a community, a development, with the right infrastructure, it’s going to thrive. One community at a time that we support that thrives because of connectivity, contributes to the economy,” Ora said.

She added that connectivity is an “enabler of GDP (gross domestic product).” Businesses and lifestyles grow vibrant with the help of technology.

The government’s national broadband plan, which aims to improve internet connection quality in the country, secured nearly P2 billion in budget, Business Mirror reported. It’s expected to speed up the construction of telecom infrastructure, contributing to economic growth and generating livelihood opportunities.

Article and Photo originally posted by Lamudi last February 27, 2021.